How many jobs do you feel capable of doing around your home? Can you bleed a radiator? Do you know how to hang a door?

Well, if you're a young adult and your answer to these questions is yes then you are part of the minority! A third of young people (37%) said they could confidently change a shower head, and even fewer (31%) said they knew how to bleed a radiator. When the same questions were asked of over 55 year olds, 65% said they could change a shower head, and a staggering 79% knew how to bleed a radiator!

So the question is, does experience come with age, or are we living with a generation of young people who aren't confident in picking up their tools and giving DIY a go?

Part of the problem is that young people, more often than not, live in rented properties rather than their own homes. This means they rely heavily on their landlords to pay for and solve any problems that may occur in the home. More often than not, young people are left for days, if not weeks, with an unfixed problem in their home while waiting for their landlords to organise a solution. 

We want to inspire young people to give DIY tasks a go, but one thing to be wary of is that there are some jobs you can do with the help of a YouTube video... but there are some jobs that should not be attempted without proper training (that's where we come in).

Improving Your DIY Skills

Besides offering some excellent Electrical, Gas and Plumbing Courses, we also offer a range of construction courses such as:

These courses will teach you skills that will prove very useful if you want to try your hand at DIY tasks around your home. Better still, you could use your trade to help complete jobs for friends, family or even start your own business and make a profit on your new DIY skills!

If you want to enquire about one of our courses, don't hesitate to get in touch - you can call us on 0800 345 7492 or click the button below to fill in an enquiry form today!

Enquire Now >

A recent study by Which? has revealed that dodgy DIY is a primary cause for plumber call-outs across the UK.

In a survey that covered over 3800 Brits, the variety of home maintenance jobs tackled by the untrained, unequipped and unqualified ranged from unblocking a toilet to fitting an entire bathroom suite.

Somewhat predictably, these DIY plumbing jobs often end in a damp squib, leaving many homeowners in hot water.

As a result, this translates to a lot of extra work for UK plumbers.

 

diy disasters,diy plumbing courses

 

The Numbers

The results of the study highlighted some interesting trends, particularly when it comes to the common DIY tasks we attempt at home.

According to the Which? study, 53% of those that took part had attempted to replace a set of taps themselves.

Theoretically, assuming this survey is indicative of the nation as a whole, that means over half of Britain has dabbled in home plumbing in pursuit of saving a few quid.

Meanwhile, a further 41% had attempted to plumb in an appliance themselves and 35% have attempted to fix a leak.

 

DI-Why?

On the flip side of these figures, traders are commonly hired to help solve these issues created by over-enthusiastic DIYers.

In fact, over 60% of the traders surveyed had been called in to finish the aforementioned tasks, proving that there really is no substitute for first-hand knowledge and professional experience.

Worse still, these DIY disasters often lead to even worse problems occurring, from small leaks developing into larger issues to poor installation completely ruining kitchens.

 

DIY Plumbing Courses

One thing that’s abundantly clear from the study is that DIY plumbing jobs are a sure-fire way to get yourself in deep water – quite literally at times!

That being said, here at Access Training UK, we have a variety of entry-level plumbing courses available, designed to help you not only become a DIY VIP but also a veritable plumbing pro in no time at all.

Ideal for anyone looking to learn a new skill, perfect their DIY skills or change their career path entirely, these plumbing related courses have the ability to change your life as well as your home.

 

Essential Plumbing Course

Designed for absolute beginners, this course provides you with a firm understanding of the basics and sets you up for a potential new career in the trade.

 

Professional Plumbing Course

This all-level course provides a variety of useful qualifications, designed to equip you with the knowledge to confidently enter the world of professional plumbing.

 

Advanced Plumbing Course

Ideal for beginners or those looking to update their existing skills, this course allows you to learn the ins and outs of plumbing and gas fitting.

 

Bathroom Installation Course

Specifically designed for those that want to design and install bathroom suites to a professional standard, this course is open to all skill levels.

 

For more information on our plumbing courses, call now on 0800 345 7492 or hit the button below to get in touch online.

Contact Us

Handyman courses

Specialising in general home repairs and domestic maintenance, a handyman is very much a 'Jack of all trades'.

Covering everything from hanging picture frames to building flatpack furniture, a good handyman will be well-versed in the art of small jobs within the homestead – after all, why should Thor get to be the only hero with a hammer?

If you're a dab hand with a drill and a superstar with a spanner, you yourself could have the makings of a fine handyman (or handywoman).

Do you have the skills to pay the bills? Become a doctor of DIY and take your domestic talents to the next level with a handyman course from Access Training.

View DIY Carpentry Course >

 

Why take a handyman course?

Whether you want to set up your own handyman business or simply brush up on some essential domestic skills, a handyman course can be a great way to broaden your horizons and enhance your abilities.

Completing a course on the do's and don’ts of DIY will allow you to easily overcome common home maintenance issues, save money on household repairs and, best of all, provide you with the necessary knowledge and understanding to be independent within the home.

Outside of that, handyman skills can be a great way to supplement your income by carrying out odd jobs for others. Better still, a relevant training course could even provide you with a solid base on which to build your very own business.

 

Which handyman course is right for me?

Often grouped together under the banners of 'Property Maintenance' or 'Home Maintenance', handyman courses offer a whole host of useful domestic skills to learn.

From plumbing and bricklaying to painting and decorating, the list of handyman courses available across the UK is vast and wide-ranging. Finding the right one for you can depend largely on your specific needs and aspirations.

If you simply want to brush up on some household skills, a standard DIY course should fit the bill nicely; however, if you want something a little meatier to prepare you for a professional venture, you may want to consider a more comprehensive training programme.

 

Our DIY training courses

At Access Training, we offer two primary DIY courses, both of which are designed to help you become more independent in the home and give you the functional expertise to easily overcome typical household headaches.

The DIY courses currently available from Access Training are:

  • DIY Carpentry Course - From tool handling and basic cutting to hanging doors and fitting locks, our DIY Carpentry Course covers a wide variety of tasks in order to help you improve your practical carpentry skills around the home.

  • DIY Plastering Course - Providing you with all the basic know-how on the art of plastering, our DIY Plastering Course is ideal for anyone looking to take on a domestic plastering job, covering everything from mixing materials to rendering walls.

 

Further training courses

In addition to the DIY courses outlined above, we also provide a number of other 'Essential' courses that are ideal for anyone looking to get to grips with a skill they've never tried before.

These include:

These entry-level courses may be considered a step up from the DIY level, providing a superb foundation if you're looking to turn professional in the near future.

Get in touch now to speak with a course advisor >

The term “DIY” can mean many different things to many different people, depending on the words that follow it. From DIY fancy dress to DIY wedding decorations, the universal initialism of “Do It Yourself” can be applied to pretty much anything and everything… provided you don’t mind getting stuck in.

That being said, as a standalone term, DIY typically relates to handiwork around the house and can be a great way to save money on home improvement projects. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, DIY could be for you! With that in mind let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work, as we peel off the lid on the essentials of DIY.

 

how to do diy

 

How to DIY

When it comes to DIY in the home, the variety of tasks can be extremely vast and wide-ranging, including everything from re-wiring a plug to fixing a leaky tap. As such, a universal guide to all these tasks is non-existent; however, there are a few common themes that each job will share.

To help get you started on your DIY quest, here are a few simple rules to follow when taking on a task that’s outside of your comfort zone.

 

Do your homework

Before beginning any DIY task, it’s important to know what lies ahead.

While ploughing through your dining room wall with a sledgehammer may seem like a great way to expand your living room (and relieve some stress), the consequences could leave you picking up the pieces for a long while afterwards.

Doing your homework on a DIY task can help you adequately prepare, while also providing knowledge and knowhow on how to do the task properly. Luckily, Google can be your best friend in situations like this and step-by-step instructions can be found on a multitude of tasks in mere seconds.

Meanwhile, to make things completely idiot-proof (in theory), YouTube is also loaded with hundreds of thousands of instructional videos, designed to help you expand your mind, broaden your horizons and reach the DIY promised land in one piece.

 

Tools of the trade

They say a bad worker always blames his tools… so if you don’t have any tools, you’ll have no-one to blame if it all goes catastrophically pear-shaped!

Joking aside, a well-stocked toolbox can be a useful addition to any home. Items like a hammer, spanner, pliers and a set of screwdrivers can come in handy surprisingly frequently, whether it’s to tighten a loose screw or knock in a protruding nail.

You may also find that certain jobs require more than just your standard toolbox essentials. Electrical items and power tools like a circular saw or electric drill can also be useful to have, depending on the task at hand.

While other tasks may require more specialist items – such as a tile cutter or a floor sander – it may be worth considering how much use you are likely to get out of a job-specific item. If it’s a one-off job that won’t require revisiting, it could be more cost-effective to rent rather than buy your tools outright.

Specialist tools can be hired at a variety of outlets nationwide and could be a good way to keep your outgoings to a minimum.

 

Know your limits

DIY can be a fantastic way to save some money on a small job or menial repair task. However, if you’re dealing with something that’s totally outside of your knowledge and expertise, with a range of complexities attached, it may be worth reassessing the situation and, more importantly, your capabilities of completing the task successfully.

There’s no shame in admitting you’re out of your depth and knowing when you don’t know can be the difference between a job well done and job that needs redoing. What’s more, blindly sailing into the DIY abyss without a clear view of where you going can be extremely dangerous, particularly if you dealing with elements like gas and electricity.

 

Safety first

Following on from our last point, safety should always be top of the list when it comes to DIY. In fact, it should be the title of the list, written in bold and underlined… twice!

DIY in the home can involve a multitude of dangers, particularly if you’re new to home improvements. Even a simple task like hammering a nail can quite easily lead to a broken finger, so caution should be exercised at all times.

Sensible risk assessment is also hugely important. If you’re painting the ceiling while teetering out-stretched on a rickety ladder, all while your cat sleeps underneath on the glass coffee table, chances are you may want to reconsider your approach.

Whenever you’re attempting DIY, you should also bear in mind the clothes you wear too. This doesn’t just extend to overalls and old threads that you don’t mind getting ripped, dirty or ruined – it also extends to safety gear. Protective gloves can come in handy if you’re dealing with sharp objects that fragment – like glass, bricks and tiles – while safety goggles can quite literally save your vision if a rogue shard or shaving goes airborne.

 

When it comes to real DIY expertise, there’s no substitute for professional knowledge. If you want to expand your home improvement knowhow, why not consider a course with Access Training? Our vocational courses can help you achieve first-hand knowledge in a wide variety of skills – including electrical, gas and plumbing courses – making even the most daunting of DIY duties a doddle.

Get in touch today!

Home Improvement Courses

Did you make any New Year's resolutions back at the beginning of January? Lots of people do it, and while resolutions differ greatly from each person, we can probably all agree that deciding to learn a beneficial new skill is a good resolution to make!

If you want to learn a new skill or to make some changes to your household this year, we have a number of home improvement courses that are sure to suit you. These DIY training packages are a great way to learn valuable new skills and take your home improvements back into your own hands.

When something goes wrong around the house - or when you just want to make some simple home improvements - it can be expensive to hire someone to do it for you. Being able to carry out certain tasks by yourself will give you far more freedom over your project, allowing you to save a lot of money in the process.

Although many of our training courses are designed to help students kick-start their careers in a chosen trade industry, we also cater to those who are simply interested in learning some essential DIY skills. Our home improvement courses will help you to be far handier around the house, and they'll also give you the satisfaction of gaining a useful new skill.

Here are some of the home improvement courses we offer:

Our courses are incredibly flexible, so you can learn at your own pace and around your work / family commitments. We are more than happy to talk you through each course and find the best way for you to study - please contact us today for advice!

Last month the DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) announced amendments to the current Building Regulations, introducing a previously proposed third party inspection scheme to allow DIY enthusiasts/those not registered with a Competent Persons Scheme to have their work checked and certified. However NICEIC and ELECSA have announced that they will be opting out of these changes, arguing that the changes could "undermine registered electricians" and cause more harm than good.

In a statement from Emma Clancy, CEO of Cetsure (which operates the two brands), it was said they "do not wish to see DIY'ers carry out potentially dangerous electrical work" and believe it needs to be left to competent electricians who will able to comply with the wiring regulations. She went on to point out that the third party inspector scheme is not UKAS accredited, meaning that there is to be no external verification ensuring that the scheme operators are doing their job to the correct standard.

"It makes a mockery of competent persons’ schemes and the tens of thousands of registered electricians already in the marketplace. There are glaring holes in the scheme, such as the amount of time an installation can be live before it is checked, potentially endangering the householder," she continued.

Other electrical contractors have also expressed concerns over the scheme, especially toward a lack of clarity as to where the responsibility lies. Is it with the inspectors even though they didn't install it? The question has also been raised as to why DIY installers do the work themselves (and get it checked) in the first place, when as it stands they'd actually be saving money by hiring a competent electrician to do the work.

Finally, Certsure have released a video where NICEIC/ELECSA representatives Tony Cable and Darren Stanniforth discuss the brands' position on third party certification. You can view it here at this link.

Here at Access Training, we fully agree that DIYers shouldn't be attempting any form of electrical installation without the proper knowledge, training and qualifications to ensure that their work isn't a hazard to themselves or anybody else. However we also understand some of you will want to have a go at it yoursepves, which is why our range of electrical training courses is suitable for trainee electricans and DIY enthusiasts alike! At our Cardiff training centre, you'll be able to earn your 17th Edition Wiring and Part P qualifications, proving you skilled enough to join a Competent Person Scheme and tackle all sorts of domestic electrical work yourself.

To find out more, just give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

While an electrician who's undergone a proper electrical training course and earned their qualifications would never make these kind of mistakes, unfortunately the industry is rife with unqualified individuals looking to make an easy bit of cash without any regard for their customer's safety (or even life). These cowboy builders commonly do poor electrical installation jobs, resulting in customers having to call out proper professionals to fix things.

New research from Trade Skills 4 U has found the most common jobs electricians are called out to do after a cowboy builder or naive DIY enthusiast has done a poor job of it. Many of these shouldn't be taken lightly, as they can easily cause electric shocks that could result in death. Potentially fatal mistakes including drilling through wiring, repairing electrical appliances while they are still switched on and even cutting through power leads.

With the most common jobs involving either light fittings (41%) and lighting circuits (29%), its no surprise that many naively believe they have the skills to complete such tasks without having done an electrical course. In fact, one fifth of the people sampled said that they will confidently attempt to install new lighting in their homes without any electrical training. One tenth said they'd do the same installing new wiring.

These might be simple jobs for an electrician to carry out, but for someone without the proper training they can be very dangerous. At the very minimum anyone attempting these sort of jobs should have the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations and Part P qualifications, both of which we offer courses for here at Access Training Academies. Shoddy electrical work could cost someone their life and it might not be yours - it could be your friends' or family members'. Ask yourself, is it really worth it?

To find out more about the electrician courses we offer at Access Training, give our advice team a call on 0800 345 7492.

Via DIY Week

A warning to homeowners of the risks involved in do-it-yourself electrical installations.

Napoleon once referred to Britain as 'a nation of shopkeepers'. Probably not true in modern society, but we still certainly a nation of something - do-it-yourselfers.

More and more people are willing to have a go at things they may have once thought impossible, taking regular visits to the local DIY shop to get parts for little jobs here and there or even working toward bigger projects such as renovating a room or building a conservatory. However, when it comes to plumbing, gas and electrical jobs, such concerns are better left to the professionals. Meaning those certified to carry out the work.

Jobs for an electrician

A homeowner can legally undertake basic electrical jobs themselves, such as installing an additional socket/light or connecting a cooker to an existing connection unit, but not much more than that. Anything more complicated like installing a new shower circuit or a new cooker circuit, legally requires a qualified electrician. If you have any DIY plans that require electrical work, it's always best to check what you are legally able to do before starting.

If you have any doubts on the legality or your capability to do the job safely in the first place, do NOT attempt it yourself and instead seek out the help of a qualified professional. Not only will you be ensuring that the job is done safely and properly, but you'll be saving yourself money in the long run. Hiring an electrician to fix a botched job usually ends up costing more than getting one out to do the job in the first place.

Building Regulations

District councils have responsibility for ensuring that any building works meet the national Building Regulations for efficiency, safety, design and disabled access. Building Regulations must be obtained from the local council before any structural alteration is made to a home. Such regulations are easier to obtain if the homeowner can prove they are going to be using a qualified electrician to undertake the work.

Part P qualified

A Part P qualified electrician is one who is able to sign off their own work in domestic properties. If they aren't qualified, then they'll have to approach the local authority building control to approve their work. This is something that all homeowners should bear in mind when they are looking to hire a qualified electrician.

Risks

It doesn't take much for electricity to kill. Forget numbers like 10,000 volts, the 230 volt domestic supply running through your home is more than enough. Our bodies use electrical signals to control our organs and any excess voltage will interfere with these, causing hearts and lungs to stop functioning and eventually death. Poorly installed electrics can very easily also start fires, resulting in home owners losing everything when their houses are burnt to the ground because of some faulty wiring. And if that work goes against building regulations, you may find the property is not insured and the insurance company is not legally obliged to reimburse them. On average, around 30 people die each year due to low voltage electrocutions and electrical burns. In addition, two and a half million people will receive a mains voltage electric shock every year, and 350,000 will receive a serious injury. Another 46 will die each year as an indirect result of faulty electrical wiring or the poor installation of electrical equipment.

Differing standards

The majority of contractors in the UK are reliable and are certified as such. To become a qualified electrician takes between three and five years of study. Some contractors may however pass themselves off as qualified, citing qualifications obtained in other EU countries. However, the standards in wiring differs across both the EU and the rest of the world, so what qualifies as a qualified electrician in one country is unlikely to be anywhere near the standard required in the UK.

Registers

To find an electrical contractor to undertake domestic tasks, the best place to start is often a register such as the Electrical Safety Register at www.electricalsafetyregister.com. Electricians who register with the Electrical Safety Register must meet a very high industry standard, which means that consumers who use an ESR registered contractor are guaranteed an exceptionally high standard of work. In addition, all work carried out by Electrical Safety Register contractors is guaranteed. Any deficiencies in the work carried out are resolved at no extra cost.

Kick out the Cowboys

Electricians with fake qualifications performing sub-standard work is a continuing problem in Britain. Despite their poor (and often dangerous) results, such workmen still expect to be paid for their work and can get heavy handed if refused, especially against the vulnerable. 
In an effort to show up shoddy workmanship, electrical wholesalers Gil-Lec has set up a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #KickOutCowboys. Anyone who provided poor electrical work can be named and shamed via the Twitter campaign. Twitter users are encouraged to post photographs of poor electrical work, coupled with the name of the individual or company who performed the work.

Via Electrical Contracting News

- Mark Jenkins

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Mark Jenkins is the Electrical Course Development Manager here at Access Training. If you would like to learn more about electrical work and maintenance, you might want to consider one of the many electrical training courses we offer. These are available for both DIY enthusiasts AND people looking to gain the vital qualifications needed to make the career change to become an electrician. To find out more give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

Organising a big home renovation project can be a really exciting thing, especially if you're already a DIY enthusiast. However it's also easy to get carried away and overestimate things, leaving you a bit stuck when it comes to actually carrying the work out. With that in mind, here is a selection of handy tips to avoid frustration and make sure you get it all right the first time.

Be realistic with your budget:

Before you start any of the work or gathering the tools and materials, it's wise to set an overall budget for your project. Try to account for everything as accurately as possible, that way you won't see that ballpark figure going up and up as the work goes on. One thing to always keep in mind is encountering unexpected issues along the way, so it might be a good idea to set aside some excess funds just in case of an emergency. Knowing your budget also makes sure you aren't getting in way too over your head either.

Don't skimp on the cost:

This might seem a little contradictory to the above, but the point here is to not settle for the cheapest materials on the market. Odds are these are the ones that won't stand the test of time, and you could find yourself having to do the work all over again sooner than you might think. Know the average price of the materials, what the best ones are to use and do a job that will be the best it possibly can.

Prepare the work properly:

For example, if you're painting a room, don't skip taping the surfaces you don't want to paint. Don't just assume you'll be 100% accurate the first time, because odds are you'll end up with paint splashes where you don't want them.

Make sure your measurements are accurate:

Avoid having unnecessary waste material, as not only is it a waste but it means you also may end up having to go out and buy more material when you didn't need it in the first place. There could even be worse repercussions to inaccurate measurements - imagine having custom kitchen cabinets made, only to find they're the wrong size when they arrive. Times like these the best advice is always "measure twice, cut once".

Use the right tools for the job:

If you're missing a tool needed for the job, don't try and improvise with a different, potentially unsuitable one. Either buy one or rent/borrow it, because not doing so goes hand in hand with our last bit of advice...

Safety ALWAYS comes first:

Even when keeping everything else in mind, this should always be your number one priority? Is your work really worth the risk of serious injury. Protection such as safety goggles, gloves and (in some cases) a hard hat should be a given, but if at ANY point you feel like you're out of your depth stop what you are doing and get a trained professional to complete the work. Even the best DIYers know their limits.

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If you have a home reburbishment in mind but lack to the skills to carry it out, or alternatively are looking into property development as a potential career path but lack the qualifications to make it happen - Access Training Academies are here to help! Offering training in various trades including electric, plumbing, gas, tiling, plastering, carpentry, brickwork and painting & decorating, you can attain the perfect skillset to cover any job properly. To find out more about our multi-skills courses and talk to one of our sales advisers, give Access a call on 0800 345 7492.

Towards the end of August the Electrical Safety Council revealed that DIY errors are the cause of almost half of all serious electrical shocks in UK homes.

Their survey, which took results from both electricians and consumers, found that many DIYers in fact CAN'T do it themselves and are in fact causing themselves extensive and expensive repairs that need to be done by a professional electrician. And that's if they're lucky - they're also risking both their lives and their family's lives.

These over-confident "Dive-in" DIYers are not only attempting simple jobs either, as one in five respondants without any form of electrical training said that they were confident enough to try their hand at installing new lights. One in ten even said they'd even have a go at new wiring!

So where is this added sense of bravado coming from? Well it's partly coming from relying on the advice of friends and family, who usually aren't electrically qualified themselves (over half surveyed admitted to this) but there's also another source - the internet. Two fifths said they happily turn to Google for advice, using "how-to" video guides from YouTube rather than getting proper training or calling in a professional.

But even with this factors considered, it usually comes down to the stereotypical male bravado. two fifths of men say they feel a responsibility to do electrical and DIY jobs, and almost half of all men are likely to try a job themselves or ask a mate, before seeking help from a professional.

In addition to these facts 2,000 electricians from across the country were asked about their experiences and the results were equally as alarming. 82% said repairing failed DIY efforts costs the homeowner more overall in the long run. Even worse, one third said they had seen or been involved with fixing DIY which had resulted in fires, serious electric shock or serious financial cost to repair.

Phil Buckle, Director General of the Electrical Safety Council, said: “As budgets continue to be stretched, many people will look for the easy solution but we have found this can often be more costly in the long term and can also pose severe risks. There is a lot of good advice out there on how to go about tasks safely but you must make sure the advice you take is reputable. For the small tasks that you are not sure of and for all the major jobs, my message is DDIY – Don’t Do It Yourself – get a professional in. You can find a registered electrician in your area by searching the Electrical Safety Register.”

DDIY even has some minor celebrity backing in the form of former Changing Rooms DIY expert Andy Kane (aka "Handy Andy"). He said: He said: “I’m well known for my DIY skills and love getting stuck into a good project. But when it comes to electrical DIY I always get professional advice and help. I don’t think it’s unmanly to want peace of mind for yourself and your family. Even when you are carrying out simple DIY jobs like putting up pictures, it’s important to be aware of the potential danger electricity presents in the home.”

So next time you're thinking of installing some new kitchen lights or doing a bit of rewiring, stop and think whether it's really in your ability to do that. Either swallow your pride and get a professional electrician to do the job properly, or consider getting real electrician training so you can do it yourself with REAL confidence. As well as offering training courses to those looking to become a professional electrician, Access Training can also give DIY enthusiasts the knowledge, skills and qualifications they need to do extensive home rennovating. To find out more visit our courses page or call us on 0800 345 7492.

Need to complete a plastering DIY job but have absolutely no idea where to start? Considering a career change to plastering but lack the expertise to make it happen? Fear not, Access Training is on hand to help prepare you for whatever it is that lies ahead. Like with all trades, the first step is to take a look at exactly what it is and understand some of the terms and definitions you'll come across. To assist with this, we've put together a brief list of some of the common plastering definitions to get you started;

Accelerator: A material that shortens the setting time of plasters and other cement-like materials.

Admixture: Any substance added to a plaster component or plaster mortar for the purpose of modifying its properties.

Aggregate: Granular material that does not contribute to the hardening reaction of the mortar.

Bonding Mortar: A mortar to produce a first bonding coat in a multicoat system. Usually applied in a thin coat.

Correction Time: The maximum time interval during which adjustment is possible without significant loss of final strength. This may be also referred to as adjustability.

Dot and Dab: A technique used to attach plasterboard to walls using small lumps of adhesive.

Float: A tool or procedure used to straighten and level the finish coat, to correct surface irregularities prodDouced by other tools, or to bestow a distinctive surface texture.

Grout:  A mortar or paste for filling crevices, esp. the gaps between wall or floor tiles

Hawk: A tool used by plasterers to hold and carry plaster.

Mortar: A plastic mixture composed of water and a cementitious material, which may be machine or hand applied, and which hardens in place.

Screed: To level or straighten a plaster coat application with a rod, darby or other similar tool

Setting Time: The time after which the mortar begins to harden. After this time the mortar is normally stable in the presence of water.

Substrate: Immediate surface to which the mortar is to be applied. In the case of a coating to be applied to an existing render, the render would be the coating's substrate.

Unsound: This refers to the condition of plaster where the hardened mass has lost internal strength, exhibiting cracking/spalling/delamination/etc. This general state may be contributed to by excessive aggregate addition, water damage, poor drying conditions, overwatering and other factors.

Now that you know some of the definitions you may come across when plastering, its time to have a go at the real thing. However attempting a job without proper training could not only prove expensive, but you might end up doing lasting damage to the wall or surface you're working on. To get the most rounded plastering experience the best option is a comprehensive plastering course from Access Training. With a variety of different courses for different skill levels, our experienced teaching staff will either fully prepare you for future DIY work or help you attain the vital qualifications needed to gain employment as a professional plasterer. With our courses open to people of all ages and backgrounds, you could just be a phonecall away from gaining a valuable new skill that will stay with you for the rest of your life. To find out more please take a look at our courses page or call us on 0800 345 7492.

To round of the week we turn to capentry for our quick definition guide. Hopefully this post will give you a beginner understanding of some of the more basic terms carpenters use, and you'll be able to use them to build up your own DIY knowledge or even as the first step in becoming a professional carpnenter!

Architrave: The ornamental mouldings fitted around a door or window frame. These also cover the joint between the plaster and wood framing.

Auger: A long drill-bit-like tool turned with the hands, usually by means of a handle.

Bead: A rounded shape cut into a square edge to soften the edge and provide some protection against splitting. When several beads are placed together, they are called Reeds. If the bead lies below the surface, it is referred to as a Sunk Bead.

Bench Hook: A workbench accessory used to provide a stop against a piece of wood being worked can be placed to hold it steady whilst cutting, planing, or chiseling that piece of wood.

Brace: A part of a timber or metal structure spanning a diagonal space that adds strength and stability, and resists compression or tension.

Dado: Decorative panelling applied to the lower part of an internal wall.

Dado Rail: Decorative moulding applied to an internal wall at a height of around 1m. 

Dowel: A short length of wood, round in section, used for a variety of purposes such as joining timbers, plugging fixing holes etc.

Eaves: The bottom edge of a roof that meets the walls of the structure. This is also where the water is collected into the gutter.

Fibreboard: A lightweight and weak manufactured board often used when making cheaper furniture.

Grain: The appearance, size and direction of the fibres of the timber.

Hardboard: Manufactured board made with compressed particles of wood formed together. One side of the board smooth with the other side rough. Hardboard in sheet form is often used and subfloor covering to give a smooth and flat surface.

Joists: Lengths of timbers that support ceilings and floors, usually fixed in parallel.

Mitre: A 45 degree angle joint that neatly joins two pieces of timber together.

Stud wall: A timber framed internal wall faced with plasterboard that is non-load bearing.

While this should be enough to get you started on the theory side of things, the next step is to find the correct carpentry training that can offer you exactly what you need. You might want to gain qualifications and seek employment as a professional carpenter, or alternatively you could simply be looking tp build up your DIY skill set properly. Access Training offer a range of carpentry courses to suit both parties, and are available to everyone no matter their background or skill level. To find out more about what we can give you, take a look at our courses page or give our team a call on 0800 345 7492.